Sulawesi has a long history of human occupation

Sulawesi has a long history of human occupation

174,000 km 2 ) con Wallacea, per biogeographically distinct ceinture of oceanic islands situated between continental Oriente and Australia (Fig. 1). The earliest archaeological evidence is from Talepu, a Middle Pleistocene site per the south of the island (1). The Talepu findings comprise sopra situ stone artifacts associated with fossils of extinct terrestrial megafauna (1). Dated preciso

194 onesto 118 thousand years (ka), these artifacts may reflect initial colonization by an as-yet unidentified archaic hominin (1). It is not yet excretion when anatomically modern humans (AMH) first colonized Sulawesi. AMH appear preciso have been established sopra mainland Southeast Asia (Sunda) by 73 onesto 63 ka (2). They were also possibly in Pleistocene Australia–New Guinea (Sahul) by 69 preciso 59 ka (3). There is some controversy, however, over the validity of the latter age estimates (4), which are based on recent excavations at Madjedbebe rock shelter in northern Australia (3). Per some models clover collegamento of early human settlement in Sahul, the large Sulawesi landmass would have been the first “stop” on a series of ocean crossings through northern Wallacea puro the western tip of New Guinea (5). If the oldest published dates for Madjedbebe (3) are affecte, then Homo sapiens may have reached Sulawesi up sicuro 69 esatto 59 ka.

450-km 2 lowland “tower” karst region per the island’s southwestern peninsula (Fig. 1). Some 300 caves and shelters with parietal imagery have now been identified mediante this sezione. Two cave art sites are also known from the Bone karsts

35 km esatto the east (Fig. 1). At least two chronologically distinct styles of rock art are evident on the basis of scientific dating and studies of superimposition. These comprise (i) an initial style phase of well-established Pleistocene antiquity (6, 7) and (ii) verso later phase that postdates the arrival of Austronesian-speaking farmers and the onset of the “Neolithic” farming transition around 4 ka (9). Where mai sequence of superimposition is evident, the former is distinguishable from the latter mediante terms of subject matter, technique, and preservation (6, 10).

Materials and methods

24 preciso 16 ka (18). Evidence for rock art production of verso broadly similar antiquity is found mediante karst areas per the adjacent island of Borneo: At Lubang Jeriji Saleh, per high-level limestone cave con Kalimantan, U-series dating indicates per minimum age of 40 ka for verso figurative painting of a Bornean banteng (Bos javanicus lowi) (19).

U-series isotope dating at Leang Tedongnge

12 mm 2 ) overlaid the red pigment associated with one of the rear feet of pig 1 on the main rock art panel (Fig. 5, A to C). This speleothem was too small sopra size onesto remove with per rotary tool. Hence, we used per small chisel puro prise it from the cave wall surface. The recovered sample (LTed3) comprises multiple layers of dense and nonporous calcite. The portion of speleothem we removed from the cave wall extends from its outer surface through the pigment layer and into the underlying rock face (Fig. 5, D and Addirittura). After we had removed it from the cave wall, we noted that the portion of the underlying paint layer previously covered by the coralloid speleothem had ad esempio away with the latter-that is, the rock art pigment was affixed sicuro the questione of the sampled speleothem. Mediante the laboratory, we micro-excavated LTed3 in arbitrary “spits” that extended over the entire surface of the speleothem. This produced per series of four aliquots measuring less than 1 mm con thickness (Fig. 5, F sicuro G). We observed the red pigment layer corresponding onesto the artwork across the entire length of the sample. The pigment layer was also clearly visible sopra the rear portion of the sample that was partially covered by translucent calcite from the cave wall (Fig. 5E). In total, we obtained three U-series age determinations for the LTed3 speleothem (Table 1). The resultant dates yielded indistinguishable ages within uncertainties (Table 1). This suggests closed-system conditions for uranium and thorium (Materials and Methods). The results of U-series dating indicate per minimum age of 45.5 ka for the large figurative image of per suid at Leang Tedongnge (Fig. 3 and Materials and Methods).






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